Oh, WCW. You tried so hard during this time period, but with a handful of exceptions, you still were not at the WWF’s level. We are now at the point where Hulk Hogan left the WWF for WCW, but it initially did not work as well as Ted Turner thought it would. That will change in a few years, which I will get to in a couple of weeks, but at this date you could tell the crowd were not that excited to have Hogan in WCW. With that in mind, let’s quickly look at 1994:
We start with Johnny B. Badd vs. The Honky Tonk Man for the Television Championship. Badd wins, but that is not what I remember the most. Johnny B. Badd was a stupid gimmick. Stupid, stupid, stupid. One of those gimmicks that makes me cringe if I am watching wrestling with a non fan. The thing that really surprised me was that he was an excellent worker. He was a fairly big guy who happened to be an excellent high flyer. A great athlete who got stuck in a ridiculous gimmick. When he went to the WWF as just plain Marc Mero it must have been somewhat of a relief for him to get away from this character.
Other matches of note:
– Dustin Rhodes vs. Arn Anderson which was an excellent match between two great workers with Rhodes getting a big win.
– Nasty Boys vs. Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck with the Nasty Boys getting the win in a short 8 minute match that still told a good story and was a lot of fun.
– The main event was Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair with the loser ‘retiring’. This match was a mixed bag. It took place in a steel cage which can provide a ton of excitement and with characters like Sensuous Sherri and Jimmy Hart outside of the ring getting involved from time to time and Mr. T as the referee/special enforcer there were some fun moments. The issue was Hogan who was clearly at a point in his career where people just did not care as much about him anymore, especially in WCW. Ric Flair was way over as always, even though he was clearly the heel in this match, and Ric really seemed to carry the match. Hogan won which was not unexpected, but you could clearly see the signs that he was not as ‘over’ in the WCW as he was during his long WWF run.
Now to Halloween Havoc 1995…oy…we will start with the good.
Johnny B. Badd over Diamond Dallas Page – they put on a great match with a lot of good moments and DDP started showing that he was a future main event player.
Kurasawa vs. Road Warrior Hawk – very short match, but still fun with Kurasawa getting the dirty win with his feet on the ropes.
Now the bad…
Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant in a monster truck battle on the top of the arena – good grief…just stupid, stupid, stupid. Hogan won and afterwards ‘accidentally’ pushed The Giant off the top of the arena into the nearby river. Oy…
Main event was Hogan vs. The Giant again for the WCW World Title – “Surprisingly” The Giant showed up dry and unfazed. It was slow and plodding and ended with Jimmy Hart turning on Hogan. The “best” part though is when the Yeti arrived. Why he was referred to as The Yeti is beyond me since he was dressed as a mummy, but just the whole gimmick was stupid, stupid, stupid. Professional Wrestling has always had over-the-top characters, but this one was too ridiculous for even wrestling.
Next week I will discuss only the 1996 edition since this was actually a darn good PPV with some newer faces and the luchadores who started to have an impact in WCW.